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    ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

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    Tariq
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    ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:05 pm

    Night and day had little meaning in that house. Time was idiosyncratic, and measured by mealtimes and when most members of the household were awake or asleep rather than by the sun or the moon. Often the kidnapped boy would find that he was creeping into his bed when the sun was high and waking up to a house bathed in the gloomy shadows of twilight.

    When he was awake, there was plenty to be done. Colombe proved to be a patient teacher despite her persistent worldlessness, and Fabien quickly learned all the intricacies involved in keeping a house of this size despite his tendency to become distracted by more amusing diversions or sidetracked by questions. They enjoyed their time together, carving moments of playful happiness from the drudgery of chores. The girl occasionally lapsed into spells of sullen silence from which she could not be roused. This left the urchin little choice but to find his own amusements, and he had plenty of time to poke through the house’s many rooms.

    She would always recover eventually, replying to his prompting with smiles that did not show her teeth. Twice she tied a wide bonnet over her hair and ventured into the outside world, the empty baskets in her arms returning brimming with tidily wrapped packages. Some were delivered straight to the master of the house, who accepted them with a preoccupied nod, while the others were bundled into the kitchen and unwrapped with relish.

    The first time she returned with the broken pieces of a hatched robin’s egg wrapped in a handkerchief. She delicately placed the pale blue shards in the boy’s palm, her eyes bright as she gauged his reaction to this treasure. The second trip yielded a sweet, flaky pastry that they shared, fruit filling oozing from between their fingers, and an entire chicken that they conspired to turn into a meal. The sauce was under-spiced and they burned one side of the chicken beyond repair, but the result lasted them several days. Fruit and cheese were plentiful, as were bottles of sweet wine, although Colombe wrinkled her nose at the alcohol and preferred hot teas and steaming cups of hot chocolate. The scent of her perfume became stronger after each shopping trip and lingered in rooms long after she had vacated them.

    Tariq remained reclusive. He gravitated toward the pair during mealtimes, often leaning against the doorway with his cane held loose between his fingers, his gaze distant as he spoke quietly to the pair. Colombe kept her head down when he was around, and Fabien was forced to bear the brunt of his attention. The vampire’s interest lingered in his health and his continued education in running the house. The boy was still subject to the probing touch of his cool hands as he inspected the nearly-healed wound at his throat. Sometimes the three of them cobbled something together that approached domestic normalcy without quite reaching it.

    The vampire’s visits were often brief. There was a tension to them, a tautness in the way he moved and the way he spoke, that never quite broached the surface. He ended conversations briskly, and was absent from the house more usually than he was inside it. He returned smelling of night air with his skin flushed ochre. He did not bring any more unfortunates into the house. No one asked what he did with them outside of it.

    Despite his brusqueness, there were moments when it was difficult to feel uncomfortable in the vampire’s presence. He ended discussions before he had a chance to grow quarrelsome. His voice remained soft, his attention liquid and rich when he chose to bestow it. The pale eyes remained unsettling, as did the tendency of his dreadful teeth to click together in his mouth when he grew sharp, but the week passed without incident.

    It was a night that followed a rhythm the boy would no doubt be growing accustomed to; he had woken late in the afternoon and, following a cold meal that he had picked over with Colombe, they had seen to the most essential tasks. She had dismissed him early. Her mood was surly and it was likely she had retreated to her own bedroom to read or sketch, as she sometimes did when she demanded privacy. Fabien had been supplied with an apple and shooed off like a housepet.

    Tariq had been absent for the better part of the day. The urchin had not seen him depart - it must have been early in the morning. Now, however, a thin line of light illuminated the crack beneath the boy’s bedroom door. The door to the room next to his, the vampire’s bedroom door, closed with a soft thud against its frame. The master had returned - no one else entered that room, under any circumstances.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:57 pm

    Fabien was stretched across his bed in a lazy sprawl. His knees were hooked over the edge of his blankets, and bare feet flat upon the floor. One arm was tucked beneath the boy’s neck, cushioning the back of his skull. His other hand was clasped around the apple upon his chest, one lean thumb idly caressing the smooth, shiny surface. He’d been this way for some time now, his grey eyes heavy-lidded and firmly fixed on the ceiling. His brow was pinched, lips twisted, his expression conveying a boredom which was bordering on contempt.

    The lantern the girl had gifted him with was on the floor, tucked into a dark crook in the corner of the room. It bathed the walls in a pool of warm light, collecting on the sharp angles of the boy’s profile.  

    He released a deep, heavy sigh and closed his eyes.

    When he had first arrived, the boy had immediately devoured every item of food which had been sent his way. He had snatched it sometimes, barely pausing for breath between hasty, noisy bites. It was the habit of a pauper who had not learned to relish food, who did not know when he might be fed again. And it had taken him some time break this desperate behaviour, to settle into the idea that he would receive regular meals, at regular times.

    It was only now that he was learning to savour, and this was likely why his apple had survived so long. He had toyed with it, admired it, before finally raising it to his lips and sinking his teeth into its red and succulent flesh. But even this treat did little to alleviate his irritation.

    The boy wiped his lips with the back of his hand, and released another slow sigh. He turned onto his side, and began to feel beneath his bed. It was here that he’d secreted away the cards the girl had given him. The deck was tucked protectively beneath the soft weight of the mattress, in the same spot that his old cards had been buried at home.

    Just as the youth was about to leaf through the cards, he became aware of movement in the hall. He sat up, resting his weight upon his sharp elbows, his eyes drawn to the glint of light beneath his bedroom door.

    In the past few days, the urchin had grown bold in his observations, safe in the knowledge that those blind eyes could not detect where he looked. He had begun to steal lingering inspections, which had grown longer, more audacious as time progressed. But there had also been times when the vampire had suddenly met his eyes, and presented him with a look of such startling intensity that the boy’s skin had flushed scarlet. He argued with himself later that such things were coincidence, and his host had not realised where the boy’s attention was focused.

    But it was hard not to watch him. The fluid grace of his movements, the way he crossed rooms with such effortless skill. At times he had started to look less like a monster, but something exotic, exciting. The boy was reminded of what the nun’s who visited the small parish school he had been forced to attend as a child had said. How the sisters had warned that when the devil came, he would choose a form that was appealing, that attracted.

    Despite the tasks he had been given, and how well he had adapted to assisting Colombe, he had not been put to any real use. And somehow he had begun to feel frustrated by the vampire’s lengthy absences. The boy did not like the uncertainty of it, the great stretch of the unknown. And his growing sense of irritation was coupled with a feeling of what could only be described as... neglect.

    He rose suddenly, and found himself in the centre of his room. The half-bitten apple and his cards were left, discarded upon the crumpled sheets and the boy turned towards his bedroom door. Outside the city would be full of life, and music, laughter. And light.

    Fabien did not realise he had stepped out into the hall, until he became aware that he was glancing back into his room.  He turned away from it quickly, and looked instead towards his host’s doorway.

    The boy rolled his actions over in his mind. He told himself that the vampire had only just returned, and likely was not sleeping so soon. He told himself that perhaps he would care for company, that he would entertain the boy’s agonizing boredom. That he had never discouraged him from approaching.

    The boy began to make his way down the hall with all the caution of an errant fox. He paused before the door, his heart beating so fiercely, he could felt his pulse beneath his tongue. He straightened, and self-consciously adjusted the neck of his shirt, tugging it back over the rise of his sharp shoulder. Despite the rich meals which had bestowed him with a healthy glow, the boy would never grow comfortably into his borrowed attire.

    When he was certain he was presentable, the urchin knocked softly on the vampire’s door.


    Last edited by Fabien on Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:37 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:13 pm

    The double doors to the vampire’s room rounded into an arch at the top, their shape borrowed from the austere entrances to cathedrals. It lent them solemn gravity. The rap of the boy’s knuckles against the solid wood hardly resonated through the thick door. In perhaps too pointed a reflection of his own hesitancy, the knock sounded tentative and uncertain.

    For a second, all was quiet. Nothing stirred behind the dark wood of those doors. The second dragged on to two, then five, then ten, until it seemed that the vampire had not heard or heeded.

    And then without warning the door Fabien had knocked on opened and the vampire was illuminated against a backdrop of shadow that seemed somehow to be a dark arterial flush, the little colour that could be discerned pulsing a faintly bloodied red. The gloom bled into the light of the hall like a growing stain of black ink.

    Tariq had been in the process of undressing. He was nude from the waist up, the lacework of scars at his throat glinting as though stitched with silver thread. His bare torso was lashed with the sleek muscle of a predatory cat. His legs were still clothed and he had not yet removed the leather riding boots that hugged his calves nearly to the knee. Unbound hair had been gathered to one side and draped across his bare shoulder in a pale slither that fell almost to his navel.

    He curled his hand around the edge of the door. His fingernails were long and clean and sharp at the ends of his fingers. He leaned casually against the side of the door.

    The vampire studied the bare-footed urchin on his threshold in silence. If he was surprised, his countenance did not betray it. His pale eyes shone in a flash of silver as he inclined his head.

    Bonsoir, Fabien.” The soft draw of his accent peaked on his name, shifting it to a lilting two syllables. There was a creeping drawl of gallant pleasure in his tone. He waited with an utter lack of urgency for a response. He did not move to gesture the boy inside.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:08 am

    Fabien lowered his bone white knuckles away from the door, and curled his hand into a firm, determined fist. The boy examined the tall curve of the door, following the frame to where it threatened to pierce the tall ceiling with its elegant arch.

    He released a low, shuddery sigh.

    It was a cruelty, being made to wait, even for such a short time. He felt each miserable, quiet second stretch out painfully before him. It took little time for the urchin to become restless, and soon he was shifting his weight from foot to foot, his lean limbs full of nervous energy. Every so often he glanced over his shoulder like a disobedient school boy awaiting the cane.

    The vampire’s lingering silence was not met relief. Instead, the boy began to feel  disappointment swell within him. He lifted a trembling hand, as though toying with the idea of knocking again. But firmer this time, more insistent. The boy's frustration coiled withim him like a snake, a dull and and restrictive presence that tightened across the muscles of his chest. Without realising it, he had begun to release small, shallow breaths. Finally, when his patience could stand the tension no more, the urchin made to turn unhappily away.

    It was then the door opened.

    The boy instinctively took one small, sharp step back. His breath caught in his throat.

    Fabien was not quick to return his host's  greeting. He became utterly still, staring at the vampire in what could only be a stunned silence. His dark eyes grew wide as they slowly trailed the length of his body, slipping over the sleek contours of his bare skin, before resting upon his pale eyes.  The urchin’s body flushed with heat, colouring the pale skin of his throat and sharp rise of his cheeks. He had never been more thankful for the vampire’s lack of sight.

    He swallowed slowly.

    “Oh..., ah, Bonsoir, Monsieur.” He breathed, his fingers twitching and stirring at his sides like the dusted wings of a moth. He quickly attempt to quell their pathetic display, lifting his hand and raking them almost viciously through his pale, golden hair.

    “I hope I am... I am not disturbing you? If it is not a good time, I can-“

    As soon as he started to speak, it seemed he was unable to stop. The  youth spoke hurriedly,  tripping nervously over his words. All the while, he fingers sifted with mechanical repetition through the tangled sweep of his hair.

    “I just, I thought that we could – I mean, I had some things that I- that I wished to speak with you about.”


    Last edited by Fabien on Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:48 am; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:56 am

    Tariq endured the well of the boy’s silence without offering to aid in him filling it. He bowed his head as though in acknowledgment of the return to his greeting, the line of his cloudy sight slipping vaguely from Fabien to the floor.

    He listened to his guest’s muddled explanation without interrupting. When he had concluded, the vampire lifted his sightless gaze to meet his. There was a glint of amusement in the silver of his eyes. His nostrils flared as he inhaled.

    Bien sûr. There is always time for you,” he said archly. He took a step back and opened the door wider to allow him to pass.“Come in.” He gestured with his free hand for the boy to enter. If he was hesitant to be ushered into darkness, the vampire had little reservation in guiding him with firm pressure in the small of his back.

    The room was blanketed in dark. It was cool, the air crisp with the evening air. It smelled faintly of smoke and resinous herbs, the chthonic fragrance reminiscent of church bells and funeral services. It was perhaps the only room in the house that the perfumed ghost of Colombe’s presence did not haunt.

    The vampire shut the door behind his guest and stepped away from the entrance. His shape was murky as a lurking crocodile in the muddied gloom. He moved just as gracefully in the dark. There was a soft hiss and a light flared to life like the sputter of a star. Tariq lifted the lamp to a shelf and placed it before a round mirror - the first Fabien would be able to recall seeing in the house. The glass reflected the warm light, spilling it back into the dark room.

    It was easy to see, now, why the shadows had appeared cast in red. Either side of the room was draped with cloth that hung in loose waves from ceiling to the floor. The strips of fabric might originally have been bedsheets, but had recently been dyed a deep crimson. The dye-job was slapdash - the red sprouted in haphazard blotches and dripping stains that mingled occasionally with streaks of blue that bled to bruised shreds of rich purple. The windows concealed beneath the makeshift curtains were open, as evidenced by the breeze drenched with the earthy scent of night that rippled the swathes of cloth. The stirring gave the room the rather unsettling appearance of the bloodied chambers of a beating heart.

    The cloth in front of the door to the balcony had been pushed aside and the night sky glistened in the gap.

    A kingly four-poster bed dominated the room. It was carved of dark wood. Fabric the colour of ashes gathered in bundles at each of the spires that jutted upward from the four corners. The curtains on the side nearest the wall had been loosened from their golden cords and draped along one edge of the bed, transforming it into a partially concealed niche.

    To the right of the bed sat a small table flanked by two high-backed chairs. They were large enough for the boy to curl up into without touching the floor.  A small collection of trinkets - a gold cigarette case, a fine silver chain with an ornate key on a loop, a pendant in the shape of an eye -  was scattered on the table as though recently sifted through. A bronze censer with a patina of colourful tarnish rested in the center with a belly full of ash.

    Against the far wall, facing away from the bed, was a large desk on which a different assortment of items were strewn. A thick parchment lay unrolled on its surface, the words written on it in thick, maroon ink indecipherable even had the boy been able to read his mother tongue. Across the top of it lay something that appeared to be a smooth length of blasted wood. Its surface was blackened and pitted with fissures, and one end was split to a sharp point. Two books, their age revealed in cracking leather and thread-worn spines, lay stacked to one side. A tall wardrobe bordered the desk.

    There was a notable lack of anything related to food or drink - no silverware left abandoned on plates, no emptied wineglasses scattered about. The room was tidy, but with an air of having been lived in that the other chambers lacked. It was clear Colombe did not tend to this quarter.

    The vampire took his own seat on the thick iron-bound chest at the foot of the bed. He crossed his leg across his knee and began unplucking the laces of his boot with quick motions of clever fingers. His eyes did not stray to this task. They remained hazily on his guest.

    Excusez-moi,” he said delicately, nothing in his tone implying any sort of contrition. “If I continue to disrobe. I have only just returned.” When he turned his head, his hair fell over his shoulder in long, pale strands. “How are you settling in? I expected you to be with my dove. But - ah, you came to me. Is there something in particular you wished to discuss, or was this a social call?” The words held the faint heat of a playful mockery that had no real sting.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:56 pm

    Fabien stared silently into the well of inky darkness that waited to receive him.
    His fingers were still lodged within the hair at the nape of his neck. It had grown longer since his time under the vampire’s roof, and the flaxen strands were almost daring to graze the top of his shoulders. His hand was pulled taut, clenching the hair hard enough to make his scalp ache.

    The boy managed to take one small step into the vampire’s chambers before his confidence began to waver. He stalled on the threshold, his slim body growing stiff with uncertainty. It was only the press of his host’s hand that coaxed him the rest of the way inside.

    Once he was firmly within his host’s crimson-tinged dark, the urchin was unable to move unaided. He stood just a little way inside the room, his eyes barely able to follow the moonlit glow of the vampire’s unbound hair. Had warm light not bloomed in the corner of the room, the boy might have remained where he stood, helpless to do anything unless forced into action.

    He released a soft, shuddery breath as soft light lit up the space around him,
    The urchin blinked slowly, squinting into the shadows until his dark rimmed eyes adjusted to this new light.  Gradually the room began to take shape, and as it did, the boy slowly lowered his hand back to his side.

    “On dirait le theatre.” He observed, his eyes drinking in the crimson drapery that tumbled from ceiling to floor. The words were spoken too softly to be conversational, merely a stray though that had slipped free.

    The vampire’s room was intriguing enough for the boy to almost forget the dread that had just seized him. And after the vampire moved away to settled upon the chest, the youth began to creep after him. He moved slowly, with all the slinking caution of a curious alley cat.

    Ah, I don’t know, Monsieur.”  The boy replied distractedly. His tongue had already loosened in response to the vampire’s easy manner. And his attention moved erratically from wall to table.

    “Mostly I find it... strange still. Hard to get used to. I want for so little now, you know? And Colombe, well she- finds many things to occupy my time with, but-“

    The boy studied the contents of the table, the metal objects gleaming in the soft golden light. The stash of miscellaneous items were as recognisable to him as any thief’s hoard, but the sight of it chilled the boy’s blood within his veins. He swallowed stiffly, and caught the side of his lower lip between his teeth.

    “I have never been so good with my own company.”

    Fabien’s eyes skimmed over the vampire’s bed, and then very quickly averted. He looked instead towards the other table furthest from him, the contents of which were harder to discern.  But the books were clearly visible, and he bestowed them with a long, contemplative look. He then turned to watch the vampire work the laces free with his long fingers.

    The boy took another step closer.

    “Have you... always been blind, Monsieur?”


    Last edited by Fabien on Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:15 pm

    Tariq continued to unlace his boot as the boy studied the bloody light of his room. When the leather loosened, he slid his foot free and crossed the other over his thigh to undo it. His gaze was easy, ill-focused as he listened.

    “It helps mute the light,” he said by way of explanation for the makeshift curtains. “Nothing so stirring as the theater, I’m afraid.”

    The boldness of the boy’s final question drew a loose breath of laughter from his chest.

    “An interrogation, then,” he said, his voice pricking with humour. He slid his second foot free and stood with boots in one hand. It was startling, the ease with which he moved, unfolding from his seat like the bud of a flower opening in water.

    “Always, yes. Depuis la nuit des temps. It is not something I had to learn.”

    The vampire moved past the boy, to the wardrobe. He paused and cocked his head.

    “They gave me a full account of your features at the charming establishment in which I found you. It was, I suspect, rather dramatized for the sake of the blind man; ‘Such beautiful hair!’ they told me, ‘Such luminous eyes! And how lovely his skin, beneath the street-grime.’“ He clicked his tongue against his teeth. His discarded boots thumped to the ground beside the wardrobe. When he turned around, his pale eyes were gleaming with mischievous pleasure.

    “Have you always had sight, Fabien? Does it grow tedious, relying on a sense so prone to failure?” He had drawn closer. His bare chest rose and fell with his breath. “Being reduced to helplessness by something as mundane as the falling of night?” There was a flicker of something indulgent and animal in the flick of his tongue as he wet his lips. Gently, his hand stroked the boy’s hair as though he were waving an errant lock from his forehead. Instead, it fell lower. He folded his palm over Fabien’s eyes across the bridge of his nose. His hand was cool, his touch delicate.

    “Vulnerable,” he said. His voice had fallen to a hush, a low thrum that purred in the air between them. “At the slightest veil. Always blind, yes, but I assure you that the night has never posed a threat to me.” There was a faint tremor in the hand that obscured the urchin’s sight. The vampire did not remove it.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:45 am

    Fabien's eyes trailed his host across the room, as he eagerly awaited the answer to his question. He did nothing to conceal the look of wonder which so brightened his expression. Such things were unfathomable to the boy, that great stretch of time. Not when for him, life was as short and brilliant at a newly lit match. And just as disposable.

    When the vampire mentioned the brothel, the boy suddenly startled. As if he'd forgotten his origins, tied to that bed, awaiting the next pair of rough hands to reach for him. A flicker of pain appeared in his dark eyes, and he reached for the rope-ruined flesh of one narrow wrist.

    “They... said those things to you?”  He pressed softly, an unmistakable note of awkwardness surfacing in his voice. His fingers abruptly sought the collar of his shirt, which had already begun to ease its way down from his shoulder once more.  “They were desperate to make a sale of me, non?”He shrugged the material back into place, and lowered his eyes to the floor.

    The boy’s lips parted, as if he had something further to add to the matter. But it was then he felt  the vampire move closer to him, stealing his attention, and clearing every stray thought from his mind. The youth's gaze inclined up and over the firm plain of the vampire’s stomach, up towards the where the shimmer of silvery scar sliced across the dark skin of his throat. He  could not tear himself away. This close, he felt certain he could still smell the cool night air upon the vampire’s skin.

    Monsie-“ he began quietly, as though he might object, or stall the reach of his hand.  His voice was faintly trembling.

    As vampire’s touch slipped over his hair, the urchin’s grey eyes moved towards his lips. It was here his attention remained, transfixed, before they disappeared behind the soft weight of his hand. The boy’s dark eyelashes brushed against the vampire’s palm in a nervous flutter. He closed his eyes, the thin skin of his eyelids stirring with all the hopeless fragility of an insect wing.

    This time was no way of disguising the effect the vampire had on him. The smooth skin of the boy’s cheeks flushed with colour, heating so easily beneath the vampire’s fingers. His lips parted, and his breath left his throat in short and shallow gasps.

    The muscles beneath the smooth skin of his brow became pinched in anguished embarrassment.  He did not attempt to prize the vampire's fingers away, but patiently waited to be released, for the blindfold of his hand to slip free.

    I-“ he began again, struggling to appear unperturbed by the vampire’s presence.

    “So they...  outside, those streets are- are never a danger to you?”  He rasped in desperation.

    This was too was utterly beyond the reach of the urchin’s conception. Whose life had been little but survival through sheer force of will, through near misses, and hatefully gained experience. And each day a victory he fought for, a triumph over every threat which had lurked in shadowy corners.

    “And can you can-  always find your way so easily?”
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:42 pm

    The boy’s stirring discomfort at being described this way only seemed to sharpen Tariq’s enjoyment in the retelling of it. His teeth were white against the contrast of his mouth.

    “They did,” he had confirmed wickedly as he approached. “And many more besides; it seems they were quite thorough in their inspection.”

    Now the vampire was engaged in his own exploration of Fabien’s features - his touch remained delicate over the paper-thin flesh of his eyelids, but as the skin flushed with heat under his touch it lost its fluttering hesitance and gained a rich self-indulgence. His fingertips traced a careful circle along his temple.

    Non,” he replied absently. “Who would be a danger to me? What could I encounter in the dark that would give me pause?” The graze of his fingers slid to the side of the boy’s face and he was no longer blindfolded. Instead the vampire’s hand lazily moved to cup his sharp cheek. His palm was cool and dry. This near, he smelled of the cool night air and candle-smoke and faintly, of something else, something metallic and chthonic like copper coins buried under dark earth.

    “Most are not even aware of my presence until I wish it. I am swifter and stronger and more clever than any creature you will find on those streets.” It was not spoken as a boast; merely lightly, a bald statement of fact. His thumb pressed into the skin beneath the boy’s chin, nudging it upward almost imperceptibly, a mere fraction. “And a great deal more hungry.” His lips were parted enough to reveal the sharp points of his ivory eye-teeth, his eyes distant.

    Fabien’s next question provoked another dry slither of laughter. The tension in his hand slipped loose a notch, allowing the urchin to lower his chin. “Easily enough. There are aspects of this city that were not made for me, but who could not say the same?” His tone was conspiratorial at that, as though the boy had reason to agree.

    His voice fell to a low whisper that rasped softly in his throat. “I suspect we inhabit worlds with very different dimensions. If you were to recount this room, would you describe the lines of the walls, the way the light falls, the motley colours and shapes that clutter your eyes?” The hand that framed the side of his face slipped upward, to the back of the boy’s head. It tangled gently in his hair. The vampire leaned in, bowing his head until their foreheads were nearly touching. The white of his eyes was shot through with glinting motes of cobwebbed specks.

    “Mine would be a different story. I would tell of the sweet night air that tastes of the bird attempting to build her nest in the courtyard, ignorant of the cat that will crush her eggs if it finds them, or the neighbour who is just at this very moment opening the door to a suitor--” He cocked his head as though listening. His teeth showed in the slow unfurl of his sharp smile. “-- a mistress her absent husband knows nothing about. I could not attest to the beauty of your hair or the loveliness of your skin but I would relate how your heart flits like a bird in your chest when I lay my hand on you.”

    The vampire pressed his nose into the boy’s hair and inhaled deeply, releasing his breath in a soft hiss. “And how the scent of you drenches the walls of this house and how it maddens me.” His eyes, when he opened them, were gleaming like polished marble.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:25 pm

    Fabien did not shy anyway from his host’s touch, nor stiffen under his fingers as they moved across his skin. Yet there was a tautness which ran through him from the tip of his skull to his feet, something that pulsed electric beneath the surface of his skin. The boy’s expression was perfectly conflicted, caught between his flourishing inquisitiveness, and a desperate, dangerous sort of fear.  It was to be expected perhaps, of a feral creature, and one that seemed ready to pull back with teeth bared at the slightest provocation.

    But his eyes, wide and unblinking, still followed the movements of the vampire’s lips. They seemed to drink upon every word that spilled from his mouth. He lapsed into an enrapt silence.

    His chin was still angled upwards when the vampire’s hand loosened. He may have remained that way for some time, still and thoughtful. But at the mention of his host’s thirst, fear surged through the boy’s slim body, and pebbled across his skin. The urchin’s fingers moved instinctively to the pale scar at his throat, healed now almost to perfection. But it was marked all the same by the vampire’s teeth.

    Despite his fear, the youth was so easily distracted by his host’s words. And it wasn’t long before his fingers had lowered back to his side. He angled his body towards where the cool night air breathed in through the parted curtains. His attention lingered there some time, as if he hoped he might see all the things the vampire spoke of.

    “You can... you can really hear all that, Monsieur? Even such... small things?” He enquired softly. His voice was breathless with fascination.

    His head turned back, just as the vampire’s hand moved into his hair. It was then something seemed to loosen within him, a stubborn thread plucked free. As the vampire pressed closer to him, the youth responded, the incline of his body a subtle but unmistakable lean inwards. His neck arched gently, and his heated breath flushed towards his host’s throat.  His hand lifted, and the lock-pickers fingers unfurled as though eager to slip across the cool skin of his host’s chest. His hand moved closer, his knuckles grazing the air between them.

    He might have remained this way, had not the vampire’s words made him suddenly self-conscious. The boy straightened, averting his eyes as he shifted his weight between his bare feet.

    “I am not – not usually so-“ He interrupted softly.

    Then the youth turned rigid with terror. His body began to sway anxiously, as if he might begin to back away in quiet horror. The boy’s storm cloud eyes were wide, and his pupils moved rapidly over the vampire’s features.

    “Why are you... telling me this?” If it had meant to be a question, it emerged hard, accusatory. Slipping from between his teeth like a stone. The boy sounded distraught, his thin shoulders rising and falling with each heavy, unhappy breath he took. “You want to take my blood?”
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Sat May 06, 2017 6:52 pm

    The urchin’s breathless wonder at the precision of his host’s preternatural senses encouraged the corners of Tariq’s wicked mouth to quirk up.

    “Je te l'ai dit,” he said softly, his voice gravel in the hollow of his throat. “This world is alive and writhing with things unknown to you.”

    Fabien’s unfurling - the receptiveness with which he met the vampire’s touch, the unfolding of his body like the thin stalk of a green plant inclining toward the heat of the sun - proved potent. The vampire’s fingers tightened, his body stiffening with a tension like a steel wire threaded through his bones and jerked taut, and abruptly pulled away. His bare chest rose and fell rapidly.

    This was evidently not enough distance and he took another step back, and another, until his calves made contact with the edge of his bed. He obligingly sat down on the bed, his knees bent over the side and his hair spilling white as fresh milk or the pearly gleam of new bone over his shoulder. He raked his fingers through his scalp and exhaled in a long sigh.

    When he looked up at the boy his eyes were glowing feral and cat-like against the rich loam of his skin.

    Oui,” he said, unashamed at the truth in the word. “My want for your blood is an agony. Although, as I recall, I need not ask your blessing for that.” There was a glint of his thoughtless tyrant’s cruelty at that, but after a moment he relented and said softly, “But I will not. Not without your leave. You are safe from all things in this house, even my teeth.”

    He lapsed into silence. Cool air stirred the bloodied drapes and they fluttered like the hem of a lady’s gown. From somewhere in the dark, a night-bird called a twittering cry.

    “You are welcome to go,” he said at last. “I will not stop you. But-” He paused as though considering his words, his head tilting to one side. “You are also welcome to stay. I would rather you came here.” His long fingers indicated the space before him.

    “I have regretted very much that I do not know the taste of your mouth.” This spoken simply, in a hush, as plain as if they were discussing the weather; although there was a slight strain to his voice, as though it were a struggle not to phrase this desire as a command.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Sun May 07, 2017 9:16 am

    Fabien watched the vampire move away from him, his dark eyes still wide and unblinking. The boy curled his fingers up towards his cheek, his jaw, feeling over the places where his host had touched his skin. His flesh was still miserably hot, and his pulse was so firm he could feel it throbbing against fingertips.

    The boy lowered his gaze at the vampire’s response. He lifted his hand higher, scoring his fingers across his brow, where the smooth skin was still pinched with distress and uncertainty. He released a shuddering breath from the back of his throat.

    Vous me confondez.” The urchin replied quietly, youthful irritation stirring within his voice. It was clear he did not wish to seem naive before the vampire, and such a confession was almost painful.

    When he was granted permission to leave, the boy’s eyes rose toward the door. He swallowed, and rolled a bony shoulder to shrug his shirt back into place. The youth did not move at first, but lapsed into a thoughtful quiet.

    And then began to make his way towards the door, with clear intent to depart.  

    The boy did not get far. Somewhere along the way his purpose began to dissolve, his pace to slow into nothingness. He stalled only a step or two away from the door, his hands clenching and unclenching against his thighs.

    “You could have taken me in that brothel.” He stated simply, and without malice. It was a thoughtful reflection, as if he were attempting to unpick the vampire’s motives like lose thread. A young fox sniffing the air for traps concealed in the undergrowth. The boy turned back to look towards the bed where his host now sat.

    He came to him like an obedient hound, closing the space between them anew. The urchin did not stop until he had reached the exact place where the vampire indicated, until his legs were almost brushing against the vampire’s knees.  He was trembling still.

    The boy examined the vampire cautiously, meeting the luminous eyes that so entranced him once more. He suddenly extended his hand, thoughtlessly bold. He stretched out his conjurer’s fingers, as thought he desperately sought to brush them across the side of his jaw, the curve of his cheekbone.

    Before he dared progress further, the boy hesitated.

    “Can I... touch you, Monsieur?” He asked softly, his hand held awkwardly aloft.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Sun May 07, 2017 6:04 pm

    Tariq remained stationary on the bed. His sightless gaze had fallen from the urchin and rested instead in a vague slant on the floor near his bare feet. There was a strangely ethereal quality to the scene; the curtains that shrouded the bed gave it a funereal air that the red-hued light did little to extinguish. The vampire’s pale eyes were incandescent in the gloom.

    Disappointment carved lines into his face and knit his white brows together as the sound of Fabien’s footsteps tread an unmistakable path to the door. However, he kept his word and held his peace, allowing him to depart in silence.

    He stirred at the boy’s observation. There was a restlessness to the straightening of his spine, as though he had something to add - perhaps to remind him that he could have taken him at any time, that there were any number of nights he could have crept into the boy’s bedroom and had him at his leisure, had his desire been to defile him. But the weight of this fact already hung heavy in the air and he allowed it to remain unspoken.

    His lips parted when Fabien veered from his intended destination to deliver himself to the vampire. This near he could feel the heat of the boy’s body, his skin radiating warmth beneath the too-large clothing. Something not unlike a shudder rippled through him, but whatever urge had prickled at him was quickly tamped down and successfully restrained.

    The vampire did not reach for the urchin. He did not bring his face to meet the fingers left curled uncertainly in the air. He remained sitting, his face tilted upward to meet the boy’s gaze. The lace of scars marring the collarbone beneath the arch of his throat winked silver.

    His answer came after a pause only as long as a single breath, the consideration so minute as to be imperceptible. “Yes,” he breathed forcibly. His unfocused gaze did not waver.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Mon May 08, 2017 12:41 pm

    The vampire’s stillness, his quiet, did little to alleviate the boy’s nervousness. Even after he had been granted permission, he hesitated, his fingers trembling in the air between them. Finally his courage resurfaced, and the boy’s hand extended to meet his host’s cool skin. He leaned in closer, his legs pressing against the vampire’s knees, filling what little space remained between them.

    Fabien swallowed slowly, his initial touch little more than a nervous flutter against the vampire’s cheek. But soon he become bolder, and began stroking two curled fingers  beneath one gleaming sightless eye to the underside of his jaw.

    There was something reverent in the soft brush of his fingers. As if the vampire were a predatory cat, graciously allowing the urchin's fingers the privilege of resting on its jewelled fur. The boy’s lips parted, his eyes heavy lidded as he watched his fingers slip towards the corner of his host’s mouth.

    “Does it ... feel different for you? To be touched?” He asked softly.  

    The boy’s hand moved lower, slipping over the vampire’s throat towards where his scar glinted in the dim light. He lingered upon it with interest, tracing his fingertips over the silvery mark that lined his neck.

    “It looks a deep wound, Monsieur.” He commented idly, pressing the matter no further.

    The youth seemed much too distracted, much too focused on the movement of his hand across dark skin. He caught a stray strand of ivory hair, and the boy’s breath caught in his throat. He curled the pale strands between his fingers, and stroked his way down over the curve of his collar bone.  It threatened to progress further, his palm and fingers splaying across the vampire’s chest.

    Soon he was not watching his own fingers anymore, they were left unattended. Instead, he had met his host’s eyes, moving so close his breath was a warm flush against his cheek.

    Then it came quite suddenly, the gentle brush of the urchin’s lips against the vampire’s mouth. So light, it seemed intentionally teasing.

    But soon after it had happened, the urchin startled with a soft gasp. His hand moved quickly away, as the boy grew self-conscious and distraught.  Like one awaking from a trance, uncertain of their own actions.  

    J-je suis désolé,  I don’t know why I am ... mais vous êtes tellement très ...”  It was almost a desperate whimper. Full of quiet confusion, but flushed with unmistakable desire.

    His foot began to slide back, as if he meant to pull away.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Tue May 09, 2017 6:13 pm

    Tariq’s eyelids closed over the shimmer of his pale eyes at the touch of the boy’s hand on his face. His eyelashes fanned across his cheek. He was clearly receptive to these hesitant caresses, tilting his head to allow better access of the exploratory fingers. His skin was cool and smooth when he pressed it into the boy’s palm.

    He breathed a sigh at Fabien’s question. “I do not know,” he said softly, his voice hoarse. The flick of his tongue moistened his lips before he continued, “Je ne me rappelle pas… je ne sais pas.”

    He tensed as the boy’s hand fell to his throat. However, he did not draw away as the touch plucked along the glistening silver threads of the scar and after a moment he relaxed, the cords of his neck melting once more into the architecture of his throat.

    Fabien was not wrong; the scars were raised in a dreadful filigree at the base of his throat. Whatever wound they eulogized had surely been a fearful, perhaps life-threatening, injury.

    “Mm,” the vampire said absently in reply. It seemed that was all he was going to offer but then he murmured with a faint roll of his shoulders, “It was many.” He lifted his chin so as to not impede his probing and a flush of raised skin broke out in shivers across his unclothed chest, raising the hairs.

    Something happened then, that happened so infrequently as to be vanishingly rare - Tariq was taken by surprise. His sightless eyes fluttered open at the brush of the boy’s lips against his. His hungry mouth opened but by then the boy was already pulling away. The low exhale from the back of his throat was nearly a growl as he was left wanting.

    The boy would not be allowed to retreat. The vampire’s hand shot out and clasped his slim wrist, his aim surprisingly precise. He pulled him against him and their mouths met again. Fabien’s momentum was not slowed in time for a graceful encounter and their teeth clashed together with a start, but the vampire did not much seem to mind. The hand that did not hold his wrist reached up to cradle the back of his head, fingers curling in the wavy strands of his golden hair.

    The vampire’s kiss was deep and hungry. His mouth tasted faintly of iron. His tongue was warm when it flicked into the urchin’s mouth, and he seemed to take a good deal of pleasure in the eradication of his ignorance about the taste of the boy’s mouth.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Wed May 10, 2017 11:44 am

    The vampire met with only the slightest resistance, as the boy attempted to pull away from him. His arm briefly strained against his host’s grip.

    "Monsieur, I- “ He began weakly.

    But as soon the vampire’s hand moved into his hair, the boy’s limbs were unstrung. When their mouths met again, his slender body began to tremble with longing. A small, shuddering gasp escaped his throat, and his eyes slowly closed.

    Fabien’s free hand immediately returned to the vampire’s chest. His palm came to rest briefly above his unearthly heart, before stroking upwards in a luxuriously sweep towards his shoulder. This time, he clearly savoured the feel of the vampire’s cool skin beneath his fingertips. His hand curved over the arch of his neck, before becoming entangled in the white of his hair. The urchin’s young heart was beating so furiously against his ribs, he could scarcely catch his breath. His body moulded against the vampire’s chest, and he curled a scrawny arm around his shoulder.

    The boy met the vampire with a tentative, exploratory brush of the tongue.  He carefully allowed the kiss to deepen, until soon his mouth had become more inviting. But he was so rough and awkward in his affection, it was if he’d never bestowed it on another. He was full of such clumsy eagerness, the points of his teeth scraping against the vampire’s lower lip, too coarse to be sensual.

    When it was clear he was becoming overwhelmed, when he was left panting with want, the boy attempted to break the contact between them. He sought to turn his head away, and press his wet lips against the side of his host’s mouth. He skimmed over the flesh there, his breath warm against the vampire’s cool skin.

    As he stirred gently against him, the effect vampire was having on the boy became increasingly evident. The urchin’s growing arousal was throbbing against his stomach, pressing so hard  the vampire was sure to feel it through his lose clothing.  The boy responded with a start, his heart skipping as he became aware of his newly swollen skin. This was  rapidly followed by raw, painful embarrassment. The urchin began to slide his arm free, to unhook himself from against the vampire’s bare chest.

    Je devrais partir, je suis...“ He croaked breathily, pressing his fingers against the hot skin of his brow. “I-it is too much.”
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Sat May 20, 2017 5:09 pm

    Tariq’s breath had quickened in his throat as the boy’s mouth opened up to him. His eager, youthful clumsiness only seemed to stoke the flames heating the vampire's belly. The hint of a groan coloured his breath at the graze of teeth on his lip.

    Stolen blood beat fast beneath the boy’s stroking hands, the skin warming under his fingers like a stone in the sun. When Fabien pulled away to kiss the side of his mouth, the vampire was nearly panting. His lips were wet and his pale eyes were shining.

    As the urchin attempted to uncouple himself from their intertwined limbs, the vampire instinctively resisted. Gently, the hand at the back of his head applied pressure, drawing him sweetly back until his cheek was pressed into the crook of his throat beneath his chin.

    “Sh, sh, sh,” he hushed his protests, the sounds soft between his teeth like he was encouraging a feral animal to calm against his chest. His fingers brushed through his hair, tangling, savouring the luxury of his curls as though they had been spun from gold.

    “No more of that.” At last, the words had a backbone of steel, firm with the commands he had been successfully resisting.

    They were a sprawl of tangled limbs, the boy nearly curled in his lap, and it did not take much effort to gather him tenderly in his arms. Nor was it difficult to twist at the spine and place him gently on the bed on his back. Much of the vampire’s body remained over the side of the bed but his torso inclined over the boy’s at an angle that brought his mouth dangerously close to the skin revealed in the shifting cracks beneath his loose clothes. His unbound hair spilled over his shoulders. It tickled where it met the boy’s skin.

    “If you will allow me,” he said in a hush. There was a strain to his voice that quivered like the resonance of a plucked violin string. “I will show you.”

    He did not specify what it was he meant to show him, but his breath was warm where his eager mouth waited near the dip of his sharp collarbone.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Tue May 30, 2017 5:13 am

    The firm insistence in the vampire’s voice quelled any attempts the boy made to pull away, and banished the soft protestations which threatened to rise from his lips. The urchin sank against the vampire's chest, his lips unconsciously brushing against the scarred skin of his throat.

    The feel of the vampire's hands through his hair eased some of the stiffness from the youth’s limbs. But his heart was still beating frantically against his ribs, and his features were tense with concern.

    As the vampire began to lift him, and ease him towards the bed, one of the boy’s hands suddenly tightened upon his shoulder. His head turned sharply, his storm cloud eyes wide and anxious. His lips parted then, as though he intended to speak against it. But nothing escaped his throat, only the sound of his quickened breath. He was shivering agaist the vampire's bare chest like a wounded buck.

    As soon the boy's spine came to rest upon the vampire's sheets, Fabien’s eyes flitted uneasily over the bed. The curtained alcove suddenly seem too enclosed,  too intimate. His fingers moved towards his forehead, rubbing the skin there in a slow, repetitive motion until it had reddened under his attention.

    It was no doubt quite a sight, the boy laid out there at the vampire’s side, his slim limbs spread across his bed like a dishevelled royal pet. His tangled hair had fallen in a sweep over one eye, and his youthful features still conveyed the embarrassment which warmed his skin. His shirt had slipped down past the ball of his shoulder once more, and this time the boy did nothing to correct it.

    As the vampire drew in close to him, the urchin attempted to lean forward a little, to prop onto his elbows. His dark eyes lowered to his host’s mouth, where the boy remained fixated until desire burned through him so fiercely he felt his skin twitch beneath his clothing. The boy turned his eyes away, his thin body  trembling upon the vampire’s sheets.

    “Show... me, Monsieur?” He managed to rasp.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:46 pm

    There was always a tension concealed in the vampire’s easy movements - something in the lay of his spine that was like the quivering trigger of a mousetrap, a tautness that haunted his muscle and bone and whispered at the potential for breathless, tripwire savagery. Now, with Fabien stretched on his bed like a sacrificial victim on the altar of an old god, this tension was strained so tight it creaked.

    His mouth was cruelly voluptuous. His hands had curled into claws where they dug into the bed. His cool breath shivered against the urchin’s slender throat with animal impatience.

    Tariq did not quite possess the self-restraint to allow the boy to finish this halting question. Before it had died on his tongue, his mouth had lowered, his lips brushing the bare skin of his collarbone. He continued, languidly, indulgently, to draw his mouth along the curved line of his throat until he reached the crook beneath his jaw, where he placed a reverential kiss. His tongue met flesh and he was taken with a shiver at the taste.

    He made a low sound deep in his throat at the boy’s question. As near as he was, Fabien would feel it as a deep hum. If it was meant to be a laugh it was a little too wolfish, too hoarse and tattered to hold any humour.

    “To show you,” he said, his voice husky and thick. The silvered ash of his eyes was unnervingly vacant, unlike the movement of his hand that crept down the boy’s abdomen with poised, wicked intent. His thumb brushed the head of the stirring skin straining against the cloth that bound it, soft enough it might have been unintentional. “What drew you here tonight.” This time there could be little doubt of his intentions as his palm cupped the outline of the skin that stiffened between his guest’s thighs. The gesture was provocative, possessive, and entirely lacking in shyness.

    Avez-vous été pris comme un homme?” The question was asked in a rough whisper, casually, as though it were nothing more than a polite inquiry as to his health, despite the almost coy indirectness with which it was phrased. His unbound hair slithered along the boy’s chest as he closed his lips tenderly over the pulse that fluttered beneath the stippled ghost of the wound that his teeth had torn in his throat. A faint tremble rippled through his hand.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:12 pm

    The urchin’s eyes had grown dark with apprehension. It was unlike the boy to be so still, so reserved.  Even his fingers were initially bound together, and crushed into anxious fists at his sides. But his pulse remained an excitable flutter beneath his ribs, shaking his thin chest with his softly gasping breath.

    It did not take much for the youth to yield.

    The vampire’s cool breath against his bare skin, and the sound of his voice soon had the urchin’s neck blissfully arching back. And when he kissed the boy’s skin, Fabien surrendered to him completely. Almost unthinkingly, the boy offered up the smooth stretch of his throat, a soft sound of pleasure escaping his mouth. His hand, recalling its desire to touch, began to slip serpent-like along the dark skin of the vampire’s forearm.

    The urchin’s eyes closed, and he slowly moistened his lips with the tip of his tongue. The boy’s breath had become momentarily held captive within his chest, but it loosened almost viciously when the vampire’s hand slipped across his stomach, causing the muscles there to sink inwards. At the brush of the vampire’s thumb, the boy released a low hiss.  Almost against his will, his lower back arched into the bed. Flesh that was much too receptive to the vampire's attentions stirred eagerly, and the boy’s hips writhed under the slight weight of his host's palm.

    The boy opened his eyes and swallowed slowly, his skin flushed with embarrassment. His neck and shoulders stiffened abruptly, and the urchin lapsed into silence as he considered his response.

    “Uh... oui.” He replied slowly, heat rising to his face. “Une... une fois avant. Some time ago.” The words fell from between his teeth like stones lodged uncomfortably in his throat

    The urchin began to shift uncomfortably beneath the vampire, sucking air between his teeth. His lips briefly parted, as if he had something further to add. But whatever it was, the boy swallowed it.  And when the vampire’s lips met his skin again, his trembling intensified.

    “Tu... tu as dû avoir beaucoup d'amants, n-non?” He pressed softly, his voice hoarse with want. “You... you prefer only boys, Monsieur?”

    The hand that had fallen upon his host’s arm slipped higher, until soon he was caressing the corner of the vampire’s lips. It was here his touch lingered, clumsily communicating the boy’s desire to draw the vampire’s mouth back toward his own.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:55 pm

    Tariq’s lower body had gradually been rising from his half-kneel over the edge of the bed. Diverted as he was by the press of the vampire’s mouth against his yielding throat, the boy might not become aware of this motion until he was pressed against him, his shoulders raised above his torso to allow his mouth to continue its wicked work. This close, with the heat of their bodies mingling, the vampire’s own growing arousal was hard to overlook.

    It was Fabien’s receptivity - the eager stretch of his neck, the low sound of pleasure unspooled from his throat - that coaxed the vampire’s old heart to quicken. His pupils, milky beneath the cobweb of of his eyes, expanded to great pools and his breath caught in his throat.

    “Bon garçon,” he breathed, nearly panting into his skin. His mouth grew more bold, and the next press of his lips was sharp enough to raise colour from the line of his neck - and perhaps a gasp from the urchin. “My good, good boy.”

    He did not draw away from the boy’s throat at the reply to his probing question. His breath flicked along his collarbone when he spoke, cool where he had wetted the skin with his tongue.“Good,” he murmured with satisfaction. The pleasure he took from the drag of his lips along the line of his neck delayed the rest of this response, and the faint suggestion of mockery when it came was muted, husky with distraction; “I thought your mouth held ‘sodomite’ too familiarly.”

    The urchin’s question drew a ripple of laughter from him and he brought his mouth to his throat once more before answering. “More than you, certainly,” he said. He spoke languidly beneath the boy’s ear, where the words were sure to resonate. “I prefer boys when it is a boy come to my bed.” The hand that had crept low over the boy’s stomach to tease the skin firmed between his thighs curled, seeking to claim more of the organ’s shaft, the pressure maddeningly dampened by the fabric between them.

    The delicate press of fingertips at the corner of the vampire’s mouth enkindled his breath and he released it in a soft pant. He turned his head to curl his tongue and suck the tips of his fingers into his mouth. His mouth was hot and wet and soft, the points of his eye-teeth like pricks of glass. The vampire drew forward, shifting upward to bring his mouth to meet that of the boy’s in his bed. The kiss was teasing, his tongue flicking along his lip. He tasted of copper and earth.

    He raised his head and his hair formed a haloed veil, nearly translucent where the candlelight struck it. His eyes were glowing.

    “I would like,” he said, his voice thick but the words delicate in his mouth. “To take you in my mouth.” It was not a question and after a moment he seemed to realize this and added, “If you would allow me. Je te veux very, very much.”
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:36 pm

    The sweep of the vampire’s lips against the boy’s neck had turned his muscles butter-soft, his thighs subtly but unmistakeably shifting apart. The urchin greeted the increased closeness between their bodies with relish.  He stirred against the vampire’s chest with an almost feline affection, all gently arching spine and hot, panted breath.

    But the sharp press of the vampire’s lips, and the soft words of praise breathed against his ear, enticed a more intense reaction from the youth. Soon Fabien’s slender body was trembling fiercely, as a softly hissed “Ah” slipped from between his clenched teeth. His head inclined further back to further expose the full stretch of his narrow throat.

    The vampire’s attentions stilled the boy’s tongue, silencing his anxious questions and replacing them with soft sighs and gentle sounds of enjoyment. When his palm moved back to curl around his aroused flesh, the urchin’s hips lifted keenly from the bed.

    Dieu, ... Je-“he whimpered softly, his taut, burning skin writhing firmly against the vampire’s hand.

    The boy’s hips stirred desperately against the vampire’s palm, and were writhing still when he took the boy’s fingers into his mouth. Fabien’s pulse fluttered in his throat, and his dark eyes grew wide with child-like fascination and surprise. The youth’s lips parted, his body taut as he watched his fingertips slide between the vampire’s lips, felt the soft caress of his tongue and heat of his breath.

    The urchin’s eyes were still open when the vampire’s lips were pressed against his own, and his hand remained reaching, his wet fingertips curling slowly against his palm.   His other hand crept carefully around the nape of the vampire’s neck, his fingers tangling in the white of the vampire’s hair.

    Monsieur-“ he urged softly against his host’s lips, his voice faintly pleading and impatient. The softness of kiss was clearly not enough, and the boy was left straining forward, desperate to reclaim the vampire’s mouth.

    Fabien did not answer immediately. The boy was so disorientated by desire, he seemed at first unable to comprehend the vampire’s meaning.  But then he swallowed slowly, his expression clouded and hungry with longing. “Quelle?” he replied breathily, his voice faintly trembling

    Soon his attention had sharply re-focused on the vampire’s mouth, his grey eyes following the perfect curve of his lips. The boy’s skin reddened, and with his hand positioned where it was, the vampire was sure to feel the eager twitch of flesh between the boy’s slim thighs.

    “I...I - uh... I don’t -“He lifted his hand to his brow, sifting his shaking fingers into his hair as he struggled to gather his thoughts.

    The vampire’s soft words caused the urchin’s stomach muscles to tighten, and he tilted his chin up to meet his host’s sightless gaze.  

    “If that is how you... if that is what you want I-... ” he rasped anxiously, his hand still lodged deeply into the tangled sweep of his pale hair.
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    Tariq
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:35 pm

    The distressed boy’s spiraling response elicited a smile to pluck at the vampire’s mouth. Lazily, he shifted, reaching with the hand that was not occupied in toying with the pleading skin between his trembling thighs, and clasped Fabien’s nervous hand above his head. Trapped as it was among the tangle of his hair, this was likely to force him to arch his neck further as the locks were pulled.

    Tariq soothed the fearful fingers in his own. He pressed his weight into the captured hand, leaning in close to the boy’s ear. His hair trailed over the tight arch of his throat.

    His breath was hot where it flicked in his ear. “Fabien,” he breathed to quiet his uncertain murmurs, his voice taut and low and pooling like resinous amber heated in the sun. “Say, ‘oui, Monsieur’.”
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Fabien on Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:43 pm

    Fabien’s thin shoulders eased into the vampire’s sheets, and the back of his skull finally settled against the bed.  The boy was easy to reposition, there was no resistance in his limbs, no sudden stiffening of his muscles. Only his eyes expressed quiet reservation, still wide and unblinking.

    Flexed enticingly as they were, the boy’s throat muscles stirred beneath his skin as he swallowed. He remained trembling beneath the vampire’s weight, until his gentle coaxing touches at last began to soften his grasp.  

    The sound of his name on the vampire’s lips enticed something close to a whimper to slip from his throat. The urchin’s eyes closed, and the hand once loosely resting around his host’s neck tightened, his fingers still caught within strands of the vampire’s hair.

    He shifted uneasily, moistening his lower lip with the curled point of his tongue. When his answer came, it was barely above a whisper, and coloured with embarrassment.

    O-oui, Monsieur.
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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

    Post  Tariq on Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:11 pm

    Tariq molded his body into the space carved out between the boy’s parted thighs, filling it with his sinuous heat. His lips and tongue were loathe to leave the exposed stretch of his throat. He drew reluctantly away from the soft raking of his teeth over skin.

    He clasped the hand he had captured above the boy’s head tightly at the urchin’s obedient and embarrassed response. The vampire’s mouth met Fabien’s before the words had fully escaped it. This kiss was not teasing, did not flick provokingly over his lips before drawing away; it was full and deep, his mouth hungry and demanding. He broke away to press his lips to the corner of his mouth, the line of his jaw, his breath shivering against the skin.

    “Very good.” His breath panted at the back of his throat with the praise. He released the boy’s hand and drew his fingers down the side of his throat. They found the fabric of his loose shirt and, with the assistance of the hand that had only reluctantly abandoned its eager prize, undid the button that barred him. The next one followed, then the next, his fingers nimble and his unsighted eyes straying unthinkingly from the task that was punctuated by the dip of his head as he brought his mouth to greet each new patch of skin bared.

    He completed this unbuttoning and peeled away the fabric like the descaling of a fish’s belly. His hands trailed lightly over the boy’s soft stomach. They savoured the hew of his ribs, the dint of his navel, his touch firm and appreciative as though he were something precious, a finely-wrought chalice from which he would drink. When they reached the point where the fine hairs trailing between his legs became obscured by cloth he popped free the button holding it tight in a single decisive motion.

    The vampire sat up on his knees between the urchin’s thighs and hooked his fingers beneath the borrowed clothing covering his waist. He tapped him lightly, signalling him to lift his weight from his hips, and should the boy comply, fluidly prised the fabric down. Entangled as he was with the boy’s legs, it took a moment’s navigation to complete the task and slide the clothing over and off his feet but then it was done and he dropped the garment unceremoniously to the floor.

    The boy in his bed was truly unclothed, covered only by the shirt that clung to his arms like the limp wings of a bird. The master of the house resumed his place between his legs. He settled in as though it were his right, nudging his knees further apart to make way. His silvered eyes flashed in the low light and the line of his uncovered spine cut a neat arrow to his intended target.

    The vampire’s hands were eager now, as they snaked along his bare thighs. One came to a rest at the base of the skin raised between his legs as the other, more daring, slid over his shaft, thumbing skin that was already slick with anticipation. His long fingers were nearly trembling in their delight. His breath was hot where his lips drew near. His tongue, impatient for a taste, left a gleaming, wet imprint where he pressed it to the flesh.

    “Fabien.” It was coaxing, this fierce whisper of his name. “Mon beau garçon. I want you to look at me.”

    He did not wait to see if this edict was faithfully followed. Instead, he did as promised and took the boy into his mouth, relishing the taste of him on his wicked tongue.

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    Re: ** Interlude 4 - They jostle and climb to meet the bristling fire

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